“In the coming weeks, I will post seventeen short Advent reflections on the Song of Songs from a young man learning to be a lover and a husband, who at the same time struggles to plant his worth as the beloved Bride of Christ. My guiding question:
How does the birth of God’s Son transform the broken projects of struggling lovers into aspirations for soul mating.
Click here to read the general introduction:
1A: Song of Songs 1.1-6 The Double Desire
2.Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love-making is better than wine, 3. your anointing oils are fragrant, Your name is perfume poured out; therefore the maidens love you. 4. Draw me after you, let us make haste. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. 5. I am black and beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. 6. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has gazed on me. My mother’s sons were angry with with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyards I have not kept!
|Men, it seems, bear within themselves a double desire. It is their solid hope for great love. On the one hand, men long to be for their woman an experience better than wine. On the other hand, they dreadfully hope to be found strong. For it takes strength, as we know, to draw a woman out, into the depths of a fragrant embrace. More than shallowly being hardwired for bodily pleasure, we men have been knit together with deep great inner desires. And this double desire for love will test any man’s worth.
Every message around men tries to corrupt their desires twisting them into self-destructive impulses. “Find a soul-sister”, the voice drips, “who will strengthen you and be taken effortlessly, intoxicated with one kiss.”
Yet, married life has taught the men I know something essential about their double desire. First, they are ill equipped, found weak to satisfy the complex longings of a woman. Fragrance can easily turn foul. Second, they now know that their worth must not be measured by the acceptance and embrace of a woman. They must find another source. We must first tend our own vineyards, have some our brokenness mended, discover who we are, what makes us thrive. In fact, it is only with confirmed strength that we will intoxicate our women with one clear message: not only are you lovely, bride, but I will discover your beauty amidst what appears to be your brokenness.
We men can learn a bit from Mary’s Joseph in this regard. It is our manhood journey toward becoming upright in heart.